Sunday dawned bright and clear after the previous day of non-stop torrential rain. What a relief and thank goodness!

The Mercs and honorary Merc gathered, and some shiny new paint jobs were admired. Ross and Carol’s lovely restored 72’ R107 sparkled in the sunshine. Several interesting and new cars braved the fickle weather. The 84’ 500 SEC 2 door was an interesting one – apparently only less than 6 registered in NZ according to Brian.

Anyway, back to the day – Ladies Day, of course. This has become a nice tradition over the years. The inaugural event, Sue’s amazing “High Tea” soiree to Wenderholm, took the cake “literally” and set a “high” standard.

Off we went, splitting into two groups. Those in the SCENIC group went through Orewa and the FAST group opted for the new northern motorway extension to Warkworth. The motorway extension north is actually quite amazing with huge cut sections through the hills and quite an elevation to navigate.

After a few tricky turns we all arrived at the Brick Bay venue which is tucked down a secluded valley set above Snells beach. This area of a private farm has been transformed into an amazing venue complete with vineyards, a huge Glasshouse restaurant built over a lake, and a bush walk with many interesting sculptures. The owners, Richard and Christine Didsbury, happened by and complimented the Club on the turnout. The couple are renowned for their work to revitalise Matakana and their environmental stance.

Our group of 12 ladies, 2 grandkids and numerous men made the most of the venue with some hiking the sculpture trail, others eyeing up the al fresco wine tasting area and some helping the Jeffreys with their grandee duties. Notable sculptures among others were the steel fretwork kauri trees, giant knuckle bones, the field of Māori pou, the corrugated iron intricate lacy leaves and, of course, the bush gnome! Something for everyone, I guess. The rain held off and the hiking in places became a bit steep.

Appetites primed we sat down to a tasty shared platter. No, not a 3 course lunch but a taste of local produce with a nice glass of the local tipple. The rain had not returned and after a relaxing time together, with many a story told, we made our way home with a couple of top down convertibles enjoying the fresh country air. All in all, a great Ladies Day.


Debbie Scullin

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